Monday, July 31, 2017

French Revolution

Here is a link to a great slideshow all about the French Revolution.

Monday, July 24, 2017

ACTÍVA - A Review

ACTÍVA Products provides basic materials for creativity. My daughters had fun creating projects with the Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit. There is a free downloadable e-book ACTÍVA Products' Favorite Sculpture KIDS CRAFTS that provides instructions for basic projects. 

So what exactly is Rigid Wrap?
It is plaster gauze. To use all you have to do is dip the product into warm water to activate the plaster embedded into the gauze and then place and smooth it with your fingers. Using your hands and fingers you then continue to mold the Rigid Wrap until no holes remain in the gauze. The plaster gauze begins to set up quickly and depending on the thickness of gauze used will depend on drying time. The instructions give guidance for quicker drying using the microwave. My daughter opted to utilize outdoor summer heat and sunshine. So how do you know when the piece is done drying? If the plaster feels cool to the touch it isn't done curing. The instructions in the kit guide the student in using the Rigid Wrap as well as wrapping, drape molding, cut & layering, punch & layering, and scrunching. 

The product sheet gives basic instructions on how to make several art pieces. The skill level is provided as well as approximate time it will take to make each craft. Each craft has a supply list, tips as well as instructions on how to create each piece. The pictures are not the best but that is where the ACTÍVA Products' Favorite Sculpture KIDS CRAFTS e-book come in handy. 

My 17 year old daughter is our talented artist. I asked her if she would create some art for this review and at first she was hesitant and not to enthusiastic. After beginning to work with the materials she was absolutely in her element. She loved working with the Rigid Wrap and CelluClay. She has used similar products to create sculpture pieces but never these ones. She quickly set to work creating multiple pieces of art. 

Her thoughts:
"Working with these materials is addictive! The possibilities for creating are endless. Both the Rigid Wrap and the CelluClay are very easy to work with and manipulate."

First up was making a bowl with the Rigid Wrap. The gauze wrap was very easy to cut. 

Immediately when coming into contact with warm water the wrap is moldable and soft. 

My daughter used a bowl from the kitchen that she covered with saran wrap to use as her base mold. 

To ensure that the mold would be strong she used multiple layers of the Rigid Wrap. There is no need to wait in between layering. 

My daughter ensured that each layer was well molded and did not have any of the gauze holes before adding the next layer. 

Here is a close-up of the Rigid Wrap showing the wrap in various degrees of completion. 

While the bowl was out in the sun drying it was time to begin her next project.

After the Rigid Wrap bowl was dry my 9 year old daughter had the privilege of decorating. Using paint sticks she set to work creating her unique masterpiece. 

What exactly is CelluClay?
CelluClay is a recycled paper medium that mixes easily and molds quickly. The product air dries to a dirty whitish color. This clay is similar to the classic paper mache expect this product does not require anything except water. No need to add glue with the classic rip and wrap version of classic paper mache crafting. FYI, when mixing the product I highly suggest that you place the product in a large plastic ziplock bag and add the water to the bag. If you choose to mix the product with water in a bowl there is a good amount of dust. Once the CelluClay is in the bag with water added close the bag and use your hands to mix the product to the proper consistency. 

The CelluClay took some time to get the right consistency but molding and working with the material was very easy. My daughter decided that she wanted to sculpt a tree on a canvas. She used the Rigid Wrap and the CelluClay to create this next project.

After mixing together the CelluClay has a slightly crumbly mixture. If you add too much water the CelluClay doesn't mold well. With it slightly crumbly the mixture presses together and holds together well. 

The Rigid Wrap and CelluClay are a perfect combination. The products mold together well to create moldable projects. 

My daughter enlisted her younger sister to help her make the flowers for the Cherry Blossom tree that she was sculpting.

This took about two full days to fully dry. 

The downloadable e-book is filled with 12 project ideas.

My 9 year old daughter wanted to make a butterfly. I used a plastic divider as a mold. The e-book has a great template for making a butterfly. 

My daughter started by using the Rigid Wrap to cover the butterfly mold. 

Next, she used the CelluClay to decorate her butterfly. After my older daughter created her projects I placed the CelluClay in the fridge in order to re use it again. After two week of being in the fridge the CelluClay was still perfect for using. 

After sitting out in the Texas sun for about an hour the butterfly was ready to paint. Once dry the material is strong and very sturdy. Paint goes onto both surfaces very well. Sometimes the CelluClay does not adhere to the Rigid Wrap and you will have to glue the CelluClay onto the Rigid Wrap. Elmers Glue works great to accomplish this. 

What a beautiful rainbow of colors this cute little butterfly is being painted. 

My daughter said, "Making the butterfly was definitely more fun than painting it." 

And the butterfly is finished and ready to fly away.

My 11 year old decided that she wanted to make a totem pole. Using a wrapping paper cardboard roll and some cardboard from a box for the winged part her totem pole is beginning to emerge. My daughter used Rigid Wrap for this project. 

Drying in the hot Texas sun. It dried in less than an hour. 

Now it is time to get painting!

My daughter said, "I enjoyed everything about making my totem pole. Using the Rigid Wrap was fun and really easy to get on. It dried pretty quickly. I really liked painting it."

My kiddos and I really enjoyed creating our own unique artistic masterpieces. I would definitely recommend these art products. ACTÍVA has many other art supplies to create a wide variety of projects. 

To read more reviews click here.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Mazie in the Making.....

Mazie is getting so big. We are enjoying getting to be a part of her life while she is being trained. She is a combination of feisty but also laid back. She definitely aims to please and is very eager to learn. Recently she got her "service animal in training" vest. She has been grocery shopping, to the mall, out to eat, to the hair salon, to the lake, and so many other places. Maybe I am a bit biased but she is very smart. Recently we had the opportunity to pick her up and bring her home for a couple of hours. She did fabulous in the car and enjoyed being with us. We had so much fun loving on her and getting to know her a bit more. Our whole family has definitely bonded with her and our love for her is strong. Her foster family is incredible and is doing a fantastic job training her! She meets with a professional trainer a couple of times a week. 

Our oldest daughter and her husband adopted a puppy from Mazie's litter. Their spunky dog, Beau is a hoot. He is very rambunctious and full of energy. He was one of the bigger puppies in the litter. Our family loves Beau and having him around. Yesterday, Mazie and Beau meet again for the first time since leaving their mom and litter siblings. Mazie's foster family has two dogs one of which is a full blood sibling from a previous litter. Beau was a bit overwhelmed and skittish as his older sister, Stella tried to play with him. It is so fun watching Mazie and Beau interact. We feel so blessed that Mazie and Beau will be able to grow up together and be best fur friends. Mazie got more of the poodle while Beau got more of the lab features. Mazie is a ball of crazy fur that is turning curler by the day while Beau's hair is wirey and straight. 

Here are my past posts about Mazie in the Making.

Confetti Eggs